|Like millions of others I was a big fan
of Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest back in the 90's. I never aspired
to make that style of music but something that later reminded me of that
track was born in my studio in 2011. I'd recently bought a powerful
music plugin called Omnisphere which is used by the top Hollywood
composers on a lot of film and TV soundtracks including Avatar. It contained around 50Gb of samples of instruments and
voices from all over the world. Just about any type of sound or
instrument you could think of you can play it from your midi keyboard
and so Omnisphere ended up being the main source of instruments and
sounds for Earthdance.
Unless I'm writing to a brief which is rare these days, I always compose from a creative space of just allowing anything that wants to flow out of me. Having only a basic understanding of music theory, I play by ear. My hands go where they want and feel around for chords that sound nice and feel good in my sacral chakra. I'd never actually realised that before until I was writing this post. Sorry if this is getting very new age. Anyway, I never sit down to write a techno song or a chillout track, I'm just a vehicle for whatever wants to emerge from the creative void. My best work seems to be almost channelled. It doesn't feel like me making it. I can go into a near trance for a whole day while the initial idea gushes out in a creative frenzy. No thought, time or lunch. I'm in a kind of musical labour delivering a new creation. It's painless though so there the analogy with labour ends. The pain can often come later though when the rational mind enters and starts making judgments, picking it apart and taking over.
I'd been blessed to visit Bali a few
years earlier and had the time of my life and fallen in love with the place
leaving me with indelible memories of the sights, sounds, fragrances,
food, people, music and exquisite energy of this magical island. Earthdance
started with me playing around with an Indonesian Gamelan sound
which was the initial riff. I next added the synth chords and then tried
a Mongolian Tuvan throat singer on top which worked a treat. That's when
I got the inspiration for the title and thought it would be nice to
feature traditional instruments from all over the world. So pretty soon African and Arabian drums were added as
well as a solo on an Indian sitar at the end which is probably my favourite part.
Some orchestral strings gelled it all nicely together and my vision of the countries of the world dancing in unison was complete. Even
though it's not my usual style of music I'm particularly proud of it as
well as the production, playing and mixing. There is very little I would change
on it now if I had the chance. Shawn Joseph at Optimum Mastering in
Bristol did a great job mastering the track for me.